Training for the Reggae Marathon 10k is changing my life, no lie.
While I have loved to canoe, swim and dance, a lot of my life my body has been, if not the enemy, at least someone with whom I had poor border relations. I was always happier reading a book than kicking a soccer ball around. I was that girl in gym class that was always finding a reason to sit on the bench. (I actually claimed a case of “the vapours” which didn’t work but did make my gym teacher laugh.)
And yet with age I’ve also come to appreciate my body like I never have before. Watching friends and family go through serious health issues has forced me to appreciate my own generally good health. And I have become pretty serious about trying to preserve that, basically subscribing to the view that it’s time to “use it or lose it.”
But even the commitment to exercise because it’s good for me is not the same as loving to use my body. And when I run, I’m starting to feel that way.
I actually look forward to running. Part of it is the other stuff I do while I’m out pounding the pavement, which I’ll cover in a later post. But it’s also the actual sensation of moving. Feeling the ground, sidewalk and grass alike, under me. Shaking my hands out and feeling the fingers stay loose, which is a nice change from typing or holding things. As clichéed as it sounds, the feel of the air against my skin.
If you’re starting out, I want to share: I did not feel that way at all for the first 6 weeks. I was partly running and partly walking and I felt breathless running and a bit like I was failing when I was walking. But now that I know I can run for a while without stopping, I relax into it.
Not just that, but I can run farther and feel better than I did when I was 16. And I think that’s what I needed as a boost. My legs might be showing more vein than ever but they move. Normally I think the advice to do what you love for exercise is the best. But in this case, conquering an activity I hated as a teen is working well.
What it comes down to is that I feel strong when I run. Strong like a turtle, maybe, at my pace – but strong, still. I feel like I can rely on my legs to get me where I want to go. And by the way, this picture is where I want to go.
Don’t forget you can come run with me at the Reggae Marathon! Enter here for a chance to win!